Can a few moments of moving emotional realism salvage a book entirely lacking in well-developed characters? John Irving’s 13th novel, In One Person (Simon & Schuster, 448 pp., $28.00), features an improbable plot and a basic misunderstanding of bisexuality. And yet it manages to evoke, at times, the struggles of gay and bisexual people in the Read More
Fall is coming.
In publishing, this signals the start of a season that many believe has the best chance of any in recent memory to redeem the industry after one of its darkest years, and to show that, even in 2009, big, beautiful hit books are still possible.
Many publishers are saying their fall catalogs Read More
Reviewing Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men in today’s New York Times, reviewer Michiko Kakutani laments that the novel’s “lugubrious passages…gain ascendency as the book progresses.”
And Kakutani knows from ascendant lugubriousness. Six days earlier, the Pulitzer-winning critic labeled John Irving’s latest work, Until I Find You, “bloated and lugubrious.” Media Mob reader Peter Read More
Until I Find You: A Novel, by John Irving. Random House, 824
Until I Find You, John Irving’s massive new novel, is of
a type that you often hear referred to as “sprawling”—which, when you think
about it, just means “extremely long and somewhat disorganized.”
in Read More
Until I Find You: A Novel, by John Irving. Random House, 824 pages, $27.95
Until I Find You, John Irving’s massive new novel, is of a type that you often hear referred to as “sprawling”-which, when you think about it, just means “extremely long and somewhat disorganized.”
Except, in this case, calling it “John Read More
Bad Dirt: Wyoming Stories 2, by Annie Proulx. Scribner, 219 pages, $25.
The secret to Annie Proulx’s latest collection of down-home Wyoming stories is hidden in plain sight: “In Elk Tooth everyone tries to be a character and with some success. There is little more to it than being broke, proud, ingenious and setting Read More
Tod William’s The Door in the Floor , from his own screenplay and based on John Irving’s novel A Widow for One Year , has been hailed by some as the best screen adaptation to date of an Irving novel, and dismissed by others as a dismal failure. I can’t say I minded the movie Read More
There is more to summer in the Hamptons than sipping cosmopolitans, hiring the right caterer to serve down-home meat loaf and mashed potatoes in order to look pretentiously unpretentious, spending the equivalent of the annual charity proceeds of UNICEF on basil, and gossiping about Martha Stewart. Sometimes there is real life, with all of the Read More
Hooking Up, by Tom Wolfe. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 293 pages, $25.
With Tom Wolfe it mostly goes like this: The better he is, the more powerful his pyrotechnic prose, the more you hate him–the more you hate his hard-nosed politics, his fancy personal style, his magnificently self-assured talent. Ever notice how nobody cares anymore Read More